Depending on why you use marijuana, its ability to make you sleepy can be a benefit or a hindrance. For those that have trouble falling asleep, however, indica strains of marijuana can relax your mind and thoughts, so your body can get ready to sleep.
If you don’t have insomnia, cannabis can prove to be counterproductive to a restful night’s sleep. Marijuana consumption at night can make your body spend more time in the third and fourth stage of sleep where your mind is inactive. While this sounds like a good thing, it can leave your brain inactive for longer than it needs, making you feel “hungover” the morning after.
Marijuana Is a Powerful Sleep Aid
So, how exactly does marijuana affect your dreams? Sleep studies have shown that marijuana reduces the amount of time our body spends in the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep stage. During this stage, our rapid eye movement indicates that we are dreaming, although sometimes we may not remember them unless we wake up during the dream. Our body is also paralyzed during this stage so that we don’t act out every part of our dreams.
When this part of the sleep stage is disrupted, our body is unable to fully recharge itself. Also, many marijuana users claim that they can’t dream when they smoke at night. If, however, they take a break from marijuana, their rapid eye movement increases during the first few nights, making many experience extremely lucid dreams.
Marijuana can be an especially helpful sleep aid for those that suffer from crippling and nightmares or terrors. Those with PTSD or anxiety can also experience relief from suppressing trauma-inducing dreams. A lack of REM sleep may be something to put on the back burner, in order to get a decent night of sleep.
Should You Be Worried That You Aren’t Dreaming?
If you like to dream or are practicing lucid dreaming, marijuana may be counterproductive to your efforts. Studies on the possible functions of REM sleep and dreaming have shown that even the most minimal amount of REM sleep has very little negative effects during a person’s waking state. Researchers still aren’t sure about the purpose of the REM sleep stage, but we do know that dreams aren’t essential for survival.
Other studies show that when our body is exhausted we remain longer in deep sleep than in REM sleep leading many to believe that REM sleep isn’t as important as deep sleep. Marijuana can either positively or negatively affect your sleep patterns and dreams. If you’re looking to rest easy on your bed, then a take at night can be helpful. If however, you relish in engaging in fantastical adventures every night, you might want to restrict your marijuana use during the day.
DISCLAIMER: In compliance with RCW 69.51 – WARNING
This product has intoxicating effects and may be habit forming. Smoking is hazardous to your health; risks associated with consumption of this product. Should not be used by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. For use by adults 21+. Keep out of reach of children and pets. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgement. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug. Nothing is for sale.